Sherien Barsoum is a film director and producer based in Toronto. She is a founding member of the Racial Equity Media Collective, which uses research to advocate on behalf of racialized creators in Canada. Sherien directed and produced RIDE FOR PROMISE and PLAYER ZERO, winning the HotDocs Short Film Pitch and Best Canadian Documentary at NorthWest Fest. She produced BABE, I HATE TO GO, which played top festivals internationally and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Sherien was the story consultant on the Oscar-shortlisted FRAME 394 and co-produced HOUSE OF Z, the first feature bought and distributed by Condé Nast, now on Netflix. She is the former Director of Programming for the Reelworld Film Festival and serves as a board member of the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Ontario chapter.
Ric Esther Bienstock is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker best known for her groundbreaking investigative documentaries. Her films have screened at over 60 international festivals and have aired on networks in over 50 countries. Her most recent feature length documentary, Tales From the Organ Trade, tackles the international black market trade in human organs. Narrated by David Cronenberg, the film was produced for HBO in the U.S. and Shaw Media and Canal D in Canada.
She has produced, written and directed a diverse range of acclaimed films including Sex Slaves (aka The Real Sex Traffic) (CBC, PBS Frontline, Channel 4) an expose into the trafficking of women from the former Soviet bloc into the global sex trade. Other films include the 3-part series Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour (CBC, TLC, Channel 4), The Sexual Century: The Money Shot, Boxing: In and Out of the Ring (A&E, TVOntario, Sky), Ebola: Inside an Outbreak (aka The Plague Fighters) (CBC, PBS Nova, Channel 4) and Ms. Conceptions (CBC, TLC). Her work has garnered numerous awards including a U.S. Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Dupont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, a British Broadcast Award for Best Documentary, a Royal Television Society Award, a nomination for a British Academy Award (BAFTA), two HOT DOCS Awards, two Gemini Awards, a Genie, a Cable Ace Award, two Gold Hugos from the Chicago Film Festival, a Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award from the IDA in Los Angeles, 2 Hot Docs Awards, 3 Gold World Medals from the New York Festivals, the Grand Prix at the Nyon International Film Festival in Switzerland and two Overseas Press Club of America Awards for her investigative documentaries.
She speaks three languages, none of which her children listen to.
Co-founder of OYA Media Group, Ngardy Conteh George is a two-time Canadian Screen Award winning filmmaker, a Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program Fellow and grantee, and recipient of grants from the Toronto and Ontario Art Councils and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is committed to working with marginalized, and often unheard communities, especially those that represent the rich cultures and complexities of the African Diaspora. Most recently she directed, co-wrote and co-produced TV hour Mr. Jane and Finch, winner of two 2020 Canadian Screen Awards: the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary and Best Writing for a Documentary. The film was commissioned by CBC Docs POV and nominated for a Golden Sheaf award. Her films also include documentary Dudley Speaks for Me (Best Canadian Presentation, Caribbean Tales Int’l Film Festival, 2016) and award-winning Sundance Documentary Film Fund supported feature length documentary The Flying Stars (Best documentary – BronzeLens Film Festival, 2015). Along with founder Alison Duke, she leads the OYA Emerging Filmmakers program (formerly Black Youth Pathway 2 Industry) which fosters networking, mentoring, skill training and job opportunities for postgraduate Black youth. She is currently working on her first immersive VR project,‘Wa’Omoni Rising’ and is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada.
Nicholas de Pencier is a director, producer, and director of photography specializing in documentary for the past 20 years. He is President of Mercury Films.
As both producer and DOP his credits include Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (Genie & Banff Rockie nominations, International Emmy in 1999). Also The Holier It Gets (Best Cultural and Best Independent at Hot Docs, 2000, Geminis for best writing, editing, and direction in a documentary series, nomination, Donald Brittain Award). In 2002 he produced and shot The True Meaning of Pictures (TIFF, Sundance, Best Arts Doc Gemini). This was followed in 2003 by Hockey Nomad (nominated for Banff Rockie, as well as three Geminis, won the Best Sports). He also co-directed, produced and photographed for TVOntario a series of 40 short profiles on artists who have received Ontario Arts Council grants over the past 40 years.
He produced Manufactured Landscapes (Chum City Award – best Canadian feature TIFF 2006, Genie for best Doc, distributed in 15 countries). He also directed and partially shot Four Wings and a Prayer (Grand Prix Pariscience, Banff Rockie best Wildlife and Natural History Program, Jules Verne Nature Award, Gemini nominations for Best Science, Cinematography and Direction, Emmy nomination for PBS NOVA version). He was producer and DOP on Act of God (opening night film, Hot Docs 2009). Among ongoing DOP work for docs and doc series on CBC, History, Discovery, National Geographic and many others, he has recently been shooting the documentary adaptation of Payback, Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture on debt which will be released theatrically in Canada in March 2012 and producing and shooting a feature doc on water with Edward Burtynsky.
Peter Findlay is a documentary filmmaker and former CBC producer with a passion for socialjustice and verité storytelling. His work has appeared on CBC, CTV, PBS, Discovery, History TV, TVO, ZDF-Arte, and SBS Australia, among others. Since leaving the CBC in 2000, where he was a producer at the Fifth Estate and the documentary unit of the National Magazine, Findlay has worked for many of the country’s top production companies. Most recently, his self-produced film “Company Town” – the story of the fight by autoworkers against the closure of the General Motors plant in Oshawa – premiered on CBC’s “POV” in October, 2020. It also opened the Durham Region International Film Festival, taking top honours as best film and recently winning best-in-festival and the Miguel Cifuentes Radical Change Award for social justice at the Canadian Labour International Film Festival. Findlay’s other work has garnered awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and TV, Houston Worldfest, HotDocs, and the Canadian Science Writers Association. They have also been selected for festival screenings at DOXA, the Atlantic Film Festival, the Yellowknife FilmFestival, the Economist Film Project, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the New York Festivals, and Cinema Politica. An alumnus of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Findlay is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, a past member of the Writers Guild of Canada, and has taught television and film production at both Sheridan and Durham Colleges. He lives in downtown Toronto with his wife and daughters.
Tiffany Hsiung is an international award-winning filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. Her debut award-winning feature-length documentary The Apology(2016) produced by the National Film Board of Canada, has won over a dozen awards internationally. This includes the prestigious Peabody Award along with the Allan King Memorial award presented by the Documentary Organization of Canada. The Apologywas one of thetop 10 films at Hot Docs (2016), the best documentary at the Busan International Film Festival and the Oslo International Film Festival to name a few. Nominated for an Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary by the Director’s Guild of Canada. The Apologywas theatrically released in Canada and Korea and broadcasted by POV/PBS in the US and world-wide released by Al Jazeera. Hsiung co-created and co-directed interactive web documentary The Space We Hold(2017) After the world premiere at Sheffield Documentary Film Festival The Space We Hold is awarded a Peabody – Futures of Media Award (2018) and a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Digital Production. Hsiung directed her first episodic show for Sinking Ship Entertainment, ‘Dino Dana’ and selected as one of eight directors from across Canada to participate in the 2018 Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women.
Hsiung recently completed her short The Bassinet, a commissioned film for The NFB’s LGBTQ2+ series Five@50. Hsiung is currently in post-production for her CBC short documentary ‘Sing Me a Lullaby’ set in Taipei, Taiwan.
Aeyliya Husain is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on issues of representation, women, and photography. She has exhibited at festivals both nationally and internationally including Tribeca Film Festival, where her film ‘Shooting War’ was nominated for best short documentary. This film examined the Iraq War through the lens of a photo journalist, revealing the stories behind the images and the story of the war itself.‘The World at Ten’, follows the story of two ten-year-old inner-city children as they navigate the world around them. Her film ‘Daughters of the Revolution’ tells the story of Iranian activist lawyer and her fight for women’s rights in Iran. These films have also screened at San Francisco Docfest; Glasgow Short Film Festival and São Paulo Film Festival and have been broadcast on CBC, BBC, RSI (Swiss Public TV) and France 4. Her most recent film ‘The Fifth Region’ had its premiere at the ImagineNATIVE FilmFestival (October 2018) and aired on The Documentary Channel, SBS Australia, amongst others. In addition to her film practice, Aeyliya teaches film courses at McMaster University and sits on the board for the non-profit LIFT. Her work has been supported by production grants from the National Film Board of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council and VICE media. Husain holds an MFA in Film Production from York University (Toronto, Canada) and a BA from the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada).
Lalita is an award winning filmmaker and transmedia producer. Her work has been broadcast on all major networks and featured at film festivals around the world. Lalita’s documentaries are used extensively both in the Canadian and international educational market. Currently, she is executing multiple transmedia productions in partnership with award winning game producers, designers and developers. Lalita is a featured speaker at prestigious conferences and professional development events. She also chaired the steering committee of docSHIFT and DOCS IN CLASS two major flagship programs run by DOC Toronto.
Lalita was recently recognized with the Crystal Award for mentorship by WIFT-T. She has also been awarded the Dream-Catcher Award for using her craft to better humanity and is the recipient of the 2010 Reel World Trailblazer award.
Colette Vosberg is a TV, Film and Digital professional that specializes in business affairs and producing with a creative flair. Colette has written, directed and produced two shorts, one drama entitled “Gotta Get Ahead” and the other a documentary, entitled “The Hootenanny”. Early in her career, she worked on CFC shorts and MOW’s for Showtime, such as “What Girls Learn” with Elizabeth Perkins and Scott Bakula.
Colette has a unique background of having worked in the fields of broadcasting, distribution, Independent production, and a funding agency, providing a rich and well-rounded expertise in the TV, Film and Digital industry. In this capacity, she provides to independent producers, business affairs, funding opportunities, finance plans, budgets, and tax credit expertise. Colette has also been instrumental in offering business strategies to broadcasters on how to manage and grow their CMF broadcaster envelopes and ideas of Canadian content spend.Focusing on production, Colette has Produced a Co-Production digital documentary between Canada and New Zealand entitled “Spurred On”, Line Produced for a feature-length documentary “This is Not a Movie”, a Co-Production between Canada, NFB and Germany, and Associate Produced a TV dramedy series “Mangoes: A Slice of Life” and a feature docudrama “Shelter From the Storm”. Colette is also pitching her own TV series called “Work it and Wear it” that explores wearable technology that enables people with disabilities.
Danny is a partner with Hall Webber LLP which is recognized by Who’s Who Legal® and Lexpert® one of Canada’s top rated boutique entertainment law firms and serves as the official legal counsel to the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and the Canadian Screen Awards. He has also acted as an executive producer on more than 25 film & television productions and is currently producing a feature length documentary. Danny is a frequent guest lecturer with programs such as the Seneca@York Documentary Institute, and the Ryerson Radio & Television Arts Program, a member of the Academy of Canadian Film and Television, and in addition to recently joining the board of Doc Ontario he also serves as the President and chair of the board of the non-profit Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. For further details see: http://www.hallwebber.com
James Weyman is President of media production and consulting company Barn 12 Inc. A 35 year veteran of the screen-based industries, he recently exited the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) where he was responsible for managing a $20 million portfolio of funds including the OMDC Film Fund. As a producer and filmmaker, James has been involved in a range of critically acclaimed productions, including the recent feature documentary Finding Fidel. As an executive, James has extensive experience in policy and program development and administration; project development and financing; domestic and international business development and co-production strategies; and communications and governance. Along the way he has worked closely with industry organizations such as DOC and Hot Docs, supported the careers of two generations of filmmakers, and participated in financing hundreds of film and TV productions including recent documentary titles such as League of Exotique Dancers, A Better Man, All Governments Lie and the upcoming Anthropocene. His new company, Barn 12, is committed to creating high quality film, television and digital media in partnership with like-minded creators for a global audience and has several projects in development. James also does business development consulting in the domestic and international creative industries, is a frequent speaker and moderator on industry panels, and currently sits on the Steering Committee for Artscape Launchpad.
Christine Kleckner has 18 years of combined experience in film, television, interactive and social impact production. Her portfolio includes a range of credits at the National Film Board and independent productions including Stories We Tell, A Better Man and the impact campaign for nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up. As lead producer on A Better Man, Christine took the multi-faceted film through all stages of development, production and distribution, including pitching at the Hot Docs Forum, screening at the Hot Docs Festival, and managing the film through an extended impact campaign. Her skillset includes project management, grant and proposal writing, fundraising, knowledge of distribution and impact producing, and she has facilitated numerous training sessions for filmmakers.
Christine is passionate about the documentary community and is working towards expanding and building the DOC Institute into a world-class destination for professional development. She is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute and a Fledgling Fellow.
Lara Bulger comes from a background of film festival and theatre festival work. Most recently, she did communications and community outreach work for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, and prior to that at The Kick & Push Festival in Kingston, Ontario.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music, Film and English from Western University and a Master’s Degree in Arts Leadership from Queen’s University. Lara is driven by the capacity of documentary film to bring about social change, and she is very excited to bring her passion for the arts to her role and to DOC Institute.